No prize is a biginning.


When You Minowa, the curator and I decided the theme "The Age of Chaos", I understood "chaos" in double meaning. It means anarchy and disorder on one level and a creative "fluctant" "order out of chaos" that Ilya Prigogine, winner of the Nobel prize defined. So, the term "the age of chaos" connotes tragic dilemma such as in Bosnia-Hercegovina and, at the same time, a new possibility of expression and communication.

However, the consequence that we had by the applied artworks didn't point to that way. Most works were not subversive nor experimental. They didn't form any chaotic world even as a whole in the homepage. They are very harmonic, beautiful, and safe in the sense of old aesthetics.

This is the very reason that we didn't select the grand prix this time.

I think that this will not exclude that the project has been linking artists, judges, coordinator, curator, and net-surfers in a different and unique way from ordinary exhibitions. Just after the first homepage to announce this contest started, we received several E-mails from unknown persons. They criticized the terms especially on the copyright. So, we had to discuss the most basic question in the age of electronic media with them.

If we don't insist on the initial criteria, Hideki Takeshita's "Hiroshima/The Building Blown up by Atomic Bomb" should receive the prize. Geert Lovink and Hank Bull gave us their relatively good evaluation to it:

Geert wrote, "The work can easily be reconfigured into a HTML-format with lots of clickable zones. Through this it can become part of a world-wide information structure, already existing, about nuclear issues. And of course it is made to be transported and being put back in 'reality' as a paper model of the Hiroshima monument. It is simply more then a nice image in a 'virtual gallery' and I think that artists should look for the new, unique qualities of 'art on the Net'."

Hank wrote, "There is a very active debate now going on in America around the anniversary of the bombing. New evidence taken from military archives and the personal diary of President Truman suggests that the bombing was unnecessary, that Japan was about to surrender anyway, even without an invasion, and that the bomb was used as much to scare the Russians as to force a Japanese surrender. Takehisa's piece is not polemical. It does not take sides in this debate, but uses the net as a way to make people think about this event. As they build a little paper model, they will metaphorically rebuild something that was destroyed by war."

However, Shu Lea Cheang wrote, "I agree with Hank, but don't particularly think timely should be the merit of the piece. Like the cut out, but not particularly new insight to the destruction-rebuild formula. ....I was more disappointed that no one takes us into hyper mode, beyond 3D. The web medium is not fully explored. Lots of retro, cliche image, straight rendering of 2D work. Yet, I do enjoy the concept of global jurors."

Finally, I must report DeeDee Halleck's important critique. It has something to do with not only our project but also the present situation of the Internet technology. This homepage is packed with quite many images, so that sometimes the access condition may be too bad and take too many minutes until a full image appears. The Internet technology still relies on a kind of elitism: that is "techno-elitism. Those who use a powerful computer on high-speed line feel comfortable, but they are limited. DeeDee had to struggle with the other--but not unusual--side of the Internet.

DeeDee Halleck wrote, "Hank is in a red car going fast on the info highway. I am in a brokendown farm truck. No pick up. No windshield wipers. And I am having trouble shifting. Lucky my daughter hitches a ride some times and we whiz through gallery one and two. We started three and did not know there was four and five....they do not come up on our screen. It's a different neighborhood. The chickens are eating the watermelon seeds on the porch. The crickets and cicadas are buzzing so loud that I can't hear the modem click in. It's about 95 degrees and everything is sticky."

All in all, the project was a great fun and it continues to link those who are interested in it together. This will never happen at conventional exhibitions. I want to thank you to the all artists and those who were involved in this project.

Tetsuo Kogawa. the Director